Tokyo tops star count again in Michelin food guide

Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:39am EST
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By Chisa Fujioka

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Tokyo is once again the world's starriest city, according to the Michelin restaurant guide, which predicts that even an economic recession won't dim the allure of good, if pricey, food.

A year after unveiling its first-ever Asian edition in the Japanese capital, Michelin awarded more stars to Tokyo than any other city, with nine restaurants given the coveted three-star rating, one more than last year.

In the new 2009 edition, 36 establishments received two stars, while 128 restaurants were awarded one. The 2008 edition also awarded Tokyo more stars than any other city.

"Tokyo's food scene is dynamic, diverse, rich and full of excitement," Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides, told a news conference.

"It places importance on tradition and uses world-class cooking techniques to bring the best out of fine ingredients."

Ishikawa, a 16-seat Japanese restaurant in the geisha district of Kagurazaka, joined the group of three-star establishments this year, a list that included six serving Japanese cuisine and three serving French.

Chef Hideki Ishikawa appeared humbled by the recognition.

"I am happy, but I'm not sure what to say. It hasn't sunk in yet," he told reporters at a reception for the city's three-star chefs.   Continued...

<p>Japan's Mt Fuji, covered with snow, is seen through Shinjuku skyscrapers in Tokyo January 8, 2006. REUTERS/Kimimasa Mayama</p>